Why GTK+ will prevail, and what needs to be done

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Fri Jan 28 02:16:38 GMT 2005

On Thursday 27 January 2005 20:45, Taylor Byrnes wrote:
>First let me say, the following is not supposed to be trolling or
>random KDE bashing, I use KDE everyday and have no complaints about
>it. The following is my view on what will be a problem for it (or at
>least for QT) in the near future. I realise Qt and KDE are not
>inseparable, but lets not create extra work for the developers.
>Linux is growing, it is gaining market share everyday, as it grows
>more and more corporations are paying attention to it. As Linux
> grows and more people begin to use it there will be increasing
> demand for proprietary windows applications to be provided on
> Linux; and with the growing market demands the companies that make
> those products will be forced to port them to Linux.
>When a company is planning or porting an application to Linux one of
>the first things they are going to come across is the choice of a
>widget library (probably Qt or GTK+). The problem that I see here is
>the licensing of the two libraries. Qt is available for free under
> the QPL and GPL, with commercial licenses available for a price;
> GTK+ is available only under the GNU LGPL.
>Both the QPL and GPL have viral clauses in them; any applications
> that uses them must be released under an open source license, a
> clause the LGPL does not have. When the proprietary software
> company looks, the choice for them is obvious: GTK+. Why? For them
> to use Qt they are going to have to either:
>-> Open source their applications; not likely, companies are here
> for profit. I know IBM occasionally does this, but most companies
> wont do this.
>-> Pay for Qt; why bother when GTK+ is free?
>I know in an ideal world the company would pay the fee or open
> source their app, but we do not live in a perfect world. The reason
> is the same as above, companies are out to make money. Buying Qt
> licenses hurts their bottom line, and open sourcing apps does even
> more; and from the position of a company which doesn't have a side
> in the desktop war, both libraries are just as good.
>This not an impossible problem, in fact the answer is easy, get
>Trolltech to license Qt under a non-viral license, probably the
> LGPL. The only problem is that this will hurt Trolltech's bottom
> line; convincing them wont be easy, but I think it is necessary.
>Qt must get LGPL style licensing, plain and simple.
>Using GTK+ will not kill KDE, but it will make life more difficult
> for end users, why deal with theming in two places? It may also
> cause distributions to make Gnome the default; if more apps use it
> might as well make the UI (user interface) consistent.
>Also, in Windows, the UI is all the same, there is only one widget
>library. This may not be a large issue at first glance, but this is
>one of the things that really bugs end users. And if we want Linux
> to win the OS war we're gonna need to make it user friendly, and
> this is one thing which I think will need attention.
>I hope you all have enjoyed reading my explanation, I'd love to hear
>some thoughts.

All very well and good, and I'm a KDE fan myself.  However, please 
bear in mind that QT=TrollTech, and the Canopy Group, who currently 
own SCO (yes, that SCO) also own a smallish percentage of TrollTech.
Whether its enough to exert any great amount of control remains to be 
seen.  But I'm at least wary of that relationship, it seems to have 
an odor about it that I can't quite identify.  Gnome will get there 
I'm sure, huge strides have been made in the last year.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
99.32% setiathome rank, not too shabby for a WV hillbilly
Yahoo.com attorneys please note, additions to this message
by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2005 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.
This message is from the kde mailing list.
Account management:  https://mail.kde.org/mailman/listinfo/kde.
Archives: http://lists.kde.org/.
More info: http://www.kde.org/faq.html.

More information about the kde mailing list